Post-rain, it's easy to look out to the foothills and be reminded about the natural beauty that surrounds us.

In her new show, opening Thursday at the Arts Council of Kern's Access Center Gallery, artist Cheri Sperl pays tribute to her "California Inspirations."

She said she was moved by the diverse beauty of her home state to create the 28 paintings featuring landscapes, people and produce for which California is known.

Sperl writes in her artist's statement: "Have you ever looked out your car window and been in awe of what you see? The variety of California is seemingly endless golden hills crowned with oaks, fertile valleys dotted with happy cows, infinite fields stretching out to the horizon, rolling surf and steep ragged cliffs overlooking blue waters and luscious fruit filled orchards."

Scenes include the Central Coast as well as the Central Valley, which is featured in "Gazing While Grazing." The painting of four cows gathering in a pasture facing the viewer symbolizes "the rich farming and livestock history of our area," Sperl wrote in an email.

"It also represents the individuality and personalities, even within a heard of cows."

The show is intended to evoke emotions of serenity and peace that Sperl felt in creating the pieces. 

"I hope viewers will take away an appreciation of the California I love and and what makes it special," she wrote. "What we have can’t be found elsewhere — abundance of agriculture which feeds our nation, the variety of landscapes including vineyards and fields, mountains, rolling hills and ocean as well as the inclusiveness of the people and cultures."

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.

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